Talk:Mexican Texas

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Conflictive Subject[edit]

Whether Tejas was truly part of Mexico is a matter of conjecture. Mexico claimed Tejas as a territory in the early 19th century, but a protracted battle of claim prevented amalgamation. Mexico itself recognized this continued independence by separating Tejas from Coahuila in its records until it could be conquered. This never happened, and in less than two decades Mexico released its claims on the territory.

Tejas had been settled in the Houston area in the late-1400s, and Black Plague victims unearthed recently show their origins to be English. Additionally, the Texas drawl has been attributed by modern linguists to be a direct descendant of Old English. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Limolnar (talkcontribs)

Tejas and Coahuila were separate provinces under Spain and were simply joined together because their populations were too small to support making each their own state. I'd be interested in seeing a source for the information about black plague victims in the Houston area in the late 1400s. I'm from the Houston area and have never heard that story before. Karanacs (talk) 21:47, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

The kinds of settlements that spain did was kill or kick off the americans that settled there and lived on the rio grande. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Population in 1834[edit]

In the section "Rising Tensions," it states that: "By 1834, it was estimated that over 30,000 Anglos lived in Texas,[46] compared to only 7,800 Mexicans.[11]"

According to "Remember the Alamo: Texians, Tejanos, and Mexicans Tell Their Stories" (2007) by Paul Robert Walker on p.11 states that in 1834, Mexican Colonel Juan Almonte estimated almost 4000 Mexican Texans (Tejanos), some 15,000 Americans (Texians)—including Europeans who had passed through America—and another 600 immigrants in an Irish colony. The Americans owned about 2,000 black slaves, who worked on farms and cotton plantations.

For the record, this seems like quite a discrepancy.

MiztuhX (talk) 00:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

It does seem like a discrepancy. Walker's book is a children's history, so it's not really considered that great a source for a Wikipedia article. We probably ought to check other university-press-type books. Karanacs (talk) 01:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Like Fowler...?  ;-)
MiztuhX (talk) 02:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Illegal immigration by Anglo-American migrants[edit]

It's distressing that in an article about "Mexican" Texas, which purports to provide the Mexican view of Tejas history, Anglo-American migrants are given a sterling portrayal, especially in light of their violation of Mexican immigration laws.

Instead of stating that Anglos violated Mexican laws or that their actions were illegal, this article relies on euphemisms, which do not in any way reflect the purpose, intent, severity and consequences of violating Mexican laws during this period. Karanacs proposes that this illegality is already somehow implied. I disagree. It needs to be stated that they broke, violated, infringed the law, since they were clearly viewed as undesirables, law-breakers, and pirates by Mexicans during this period. The consequence of their actions needs to stated and not just implied! Is it so hard to be provide an accurate POV of the Mexican side, especially in an article about Mexican Tejas? My goodness!

What purpose is served by protecting this particular group of people from a balanced POV? It is a bias I've seen over and over again in many articles about Texas, and, for whatever reason, Karanacs seems very defensive and resistant to changes in a narrative that he or she seems to be very invested in.

As if adding one word would bring down the whole article! I refuse to believe that these articles are the domain of one editor!

MiztuhX (talk) 08:39, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't understand how the lack of one word is bringing down the whole article. The section in question specifically states: "he prohibited further immigration to Texas from the United States, although Anglos would still be welcome in other parts of Mexico." This is not a euphemism. Prohibited = banned = stop. The very next sentence then says "The ban and other measures " (note here the word BAN, not implying, STATING, that this was a no-no) "did not stop U.S. citizens from migrating". You then added the word illegally. My objection is that it's crappy prose. The two sentences already make it perfectly clear what was happening, and in a long article, why add further redundancy? The following section, where the immigration is further discussed, uses the word illegally twice.
The most important fact you are missing is that the article does not purport to be the Mexican view of Texas history, which would be perfectly clear if you would read the first paragraph of the lead. According to Wikipedia's Neutral point of view policy, we don't give history from only one perspective in one article and only from someone else's perspective in a different article. There is definitely room for improvement in this article in content, especially in the section on the Texas Revolution. The article doesn't use Paul Lack's noted work on the political issues leading up to the Texas Revolution at all. It also uses some sources that aren't the greatest, or cherrypicks one fact from one source, which is bad practice. Ideally, this article should include information on the native-born Mexicans, the Anglos who migrated in, slaves (although that information needs to be beefed up; I believe there was at least one slave revolt that isn't mentioned at all), and the native populations (especially mentioning the Texas Rangers pretty much exterminated the Karankawa, and info about the Waco Indians too).
A word of advice: the half-page+ rants about one or two words, across multiple articles, sometimes based on flimsy scholarship, sometimes solely focused on a massive chip on your shoulder, pretty much erode your credibility. You'd be a much more credible editor if you'd work to improve the article in general rather than spewing rants over one or two words at a time. Karanacs (talk) 18:13, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Allow me to rephrase: Your reaction to my adding just one word-"illegally"--is such, that it gives one the sense that by adding this one word, it will bring down the whole article. You argue against the use of one word, as if by including it, it will bring down the whole article. One word--which I have explained adds context--and makes for clear and not "crappy" prose. I say this because I too am an editor and read with a critical eye for POV issues.
Again, we know what Bustamante proposed in terms of laws to prohibit Anglo-American immigration to Texas: he "implemented," "rescinded," "exempted," "increased," "brought settlement contracts," and "prohibited"... The Mexican side in proposing laws to control Anglo-American migration into Texas is aptly represented. But the Anglo-American side's willfulness in breaking them is not.
Now, how is the Anglo-American immigrants response portrayed? "they were still welcomed in other parts of Mexico." This is a big shift in tone, since the article had just posited all these laws to prevent them from migrating to Texas, but, hey, they were still welcomed in other parts of Mexico, thus diffusing the whole build-up of that paragraph, as well as indirectly stating, it wasn't that important anyway... After that whole build-up about establishing laws and order, the next logical step in the argument is that the Anglos would break them...
The next sentence, as previously written: "The ban and other measures did not stop U.S. citizens from migrating to Texas by the thousands." This sentence is very confusing. Anglo-American immigrants broke the law (legal contracts) by refusing to follow the conditions set upon them by the Mexican government in exchange for land. They broke the immigration laws by migrating to Texas. Their actions were illegal. But here they are represented as circumventing the law, not willfully violating it.
Without the adverb "illegally", there is no cause-and-effect relationship between the 2 parties. The Mexican side and Anglo-American sides might as well exist in separate vacuums.
The relationship here is that one side proposed laws and the other side broke them, thus the need for the adverb "illegally" to bring clarity to euphemisms, such as like "did not stop U.S. citizens from migrating", as if the Anglos were just passive players in this event. No, they willfully violated the law. This one word gives balance by providing, in no uncertain terms, the Anglo-American immigrants'response and provides NPOV.
In closing, and as I have explained to you before, I choose to propose very small changes in articles initially to gauge the degree that other editors are comfortable with making changes in a spirit of collaboration to an article. In this case, modifying one word or one sentence at a time seems to be challenging enough as it opens up discussions about content, POV, and sources, so, for the moment, I prefer to take this one step at a time...
MiztuhX (talk) 22:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Small words: This article isn't done. You will get much further if you look at the big picture rather than try to argue one word at a time. Karanacs (talk) 00:49, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Mexican Sources[edit]

In the past, editors have bemoaned the lack of Mexican academic sources and viewpoints with regards to this subject. I invite editors to add sources in order to evaluate and integrate them into the article for NPOV.

  • Zoraida Vásquez, J. (2010). Colonización de Texas y el mito del Álamo (Colonization of Texas and the Myth of the Alamo). Relatos e historias en México (Accounts and history of Mexico), 23(2), 16-21. (This is an article from a Mexican monthly magazine that deals with Mexican history. Zoraida Vásquez is a professor emeritus and researcher of the College of Mexico. She has been a visiting professor at Austin in Texas, Berkeley in California, and Florencia and Goether University in Frankfurt.)

p.18 - Ignorance attributes the independence of Texas to centralism. The loss of Texas was anticipated with the arrival of colonists from the neighboring country in the process of expansion, and the offer to buy Texas by U.S. minister Joel Poinsett in 1825.

- Disgracefully, the huge border, the distance, and the lack of resources, permitted the violation of Mexican laws by Anglo-American immigrants who were, in their majority, protestant and slave owners.

- The real sources of friction were slavery and the reopening of the ports-customs houses, once the period of tax exemption was over.

p.19 - When Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, colonists found a way to violate Mexican law by changing the contracts in which slaves were held in penury, allowing them a salary to pay for their freedom. But since they were paid very little, and they were charged for their food and clothing, it was impossible to ever pay off.

p.20 - Speculators and annexationists that had arrived in the end of the 1920s riled up the colonists and manipulated their fears about Mexican anti-slavery to incline them towards declaring their independence. To strengthen their movement and obtain the support of fellow Americans, they made a call to their compatriots to join them in their fight for liberty, offering them land. Thus, throughout the United States, especially in border states, thousands of recruiting offices were formed that signed up volunteers and gathered weapons and supplies. President Andrew Jackson declared U.S. "neutrality" in a Mexican internal problem, but he did not follow this position to the letter, as various governors interfered and volunteers were not held back at the border, and allowed to enter the dispute. As a result, this dispute became an international war for Mexico.

p.21 - The campaign of General President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, despite the penury of the treasury and the poor organization of troops and supplies, was a success. Many of the "Texan" dead were American filibusters recently arrived, who were classified as a result of the decree of the Mexican Congress of 30 December 1835, as pirates, since they were foreigners resisting the government with arms. This action convinced the Texans to declare their independence on 6 March 1836, a decision they had avoided taking in order to not lose the support of the Mexican Federalists.

- In the end, the Texan "fight for liberty" was just a ruse to further slavery, as stipulated in the Texas Constitution. This was not mentioned previously so as to not lose the support of northerners in the United States who were abolitionists. In this manner, the Texans' declaration of independence inspired by the U.S. was a simple slogan to gain support and achieve annexation.MiztuhX (talk) 01:08, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I think all of that information is already in the article. One of her essays was translated into English and that is used as a source. Plus, a lot of the English-language sources cover these events as well. English-language sources (including those written by US, German, and Scottish scholars, as well as Zoraida Vasquez's work) mention slavery, taxation/customs, the fact that most Americans didn't like the Adams-Onis treaty and thought they were cheated out of Texas, and centralism as a combination of reasons as to why Texans were willing to take up arms. Each of those themes should be reflected in this article. I think the section on the Texas Revolution needs to be completely rewritten, but all of the pieces leading up to it should be in place (with the noted exceptions above of information about the native peoples and slave revolts not being present yet). Do you see anything missing? Karanacs (talk) 18:11, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Spanish Colonization Law[edit]

My edits on 21 January 2016 were to correct a position that Zoraida Vásquez does not take in her essay. "The [Spanish colonization] law allowed colonists of any religion to settle in Texas" is not supported by Zoraida Vásquez. On p. 48, according to her, the law did not state that Texas settlers were required to be Catholic simply because the Spanish Constitution of 1812 had already established Roman Catholicism to be the one-and-only true religion of the kingdom, implicit in all the other laws, and binding on all subjects, including señor Austin's Anglo-American immigrants to Tejas. MiztuhX (talk) 09:37, 21 January 2016 (UTC)